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Best baby thermometer 2021: Get an accurate temperature reading with the best baby, bath and room thermometers

Victoria Woollaston Steven East
17 Dec 2021

Worried about a fever or want to be sure the bath isn't too hot? Put your mind at ease with the best baby thermometers

The best baby thermometers are those that put your mind at rest, especially when you're faced with looking after a tiny newborn for the first time. Is the bath too hot? Is the bedroom too cold? Does your baby have a fever?

There are many reasons you might need to take an accurate temperature reading when you have children so we’ve rounded up some of the best baby thermometers, from those that are quick and easy to use to those with backlit displays that are clear to read, meaning there’s one less thing to worry about when it comes to Fahrenheit and Celsius.

We'll start by going over some tips on how to buy the best baby thermometer for your needs, as well as what to do if your baby has a temperature, and then cover our picks of the best on the market. 

Note: Following the coronavirus outbreak, thermometers were largely out of stock as people rushed to buy them. Many of these are now more widely available, but be sure to check stock when buying from a seller. 

Editor's pick

Braun ThermoScan 7 | The best baby thermometer

The ThermoScan 7 is the best thermometer for babies, toddlers, children and adults alike. It has a pre-warming tip, takes readings in just one second and stores the previous nine readings to help you keep an eye on changing symptoms.

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How to choose the best baby thermometer for your child

My baby has a high temperature, what should I do?

If the temperature reading is above or below the normal range for your child's age – for newborns, this is anything above 37˚C and below 35˚C – seek medical advice, especially if the temperature reading has spiked suddenly for no discernible reason and even if there are no other symptoms.

If there’s a possibly valid reason, such as your child has recently had a vaccination, this temperature may be manageable using infant paracetamol such as Calpol. However, if it doesn't come down within about an hour or there are other symptoms, consult a doctor.

These symptoms include:

  • Unusual irritability
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Dry skin
  • Unusual thirst
  • Seizures
  • Loss of appetite
  • Changes in activity. If they're refusing their milk, for example, or sleeping much more.

For younger babies, the soft pulsating spot on the top of their head – called the fontanelle – dips in when they're dehydrated. Another way to tell if they're not eating or drinking enough is by the number of wet and dirty nappies they're having. If the frequency changes significantly, it could be another warning sign. Someone who has a raised temperature in the yellow range and also feels sick should speak with a doctor. In fact, whenever you're unsure, speak to a doctor or pharmacist.

What types of baby thermometers are safe for infant use?

Most doctors use a digital in-ear thermometer to measure infant temperatures. This is because it’s quick and painless, and gives an accurate reading of the child’s body temperature. At-home versions of ear thermometers are widely available and can be used with care even on small babies.

A popular alternative is an infrared baby forehead thermometer. These give a temperature reading from the child’s forehead without physical contact, which is great for when they’re sleeping or wriggling in pain. Be sure to follow the instructions (especially regarding the correct distance to take a reading) for an accurate result.

Another option is a cheap and simple armpit thermometer – the NHS particularly recommends these for newborns as they’re comfortable and safe. Certain thermometers can be used in more than one way, for example, as either an oral or an armpit thermometer. Be sure to follow the instructions especially carefully with multi-use thermometers and wash after each use. Also be mindful that tiny babies need to have anything they put into their mouth sterilised to avoid germs, which is why it's advised to use a thermometer under an armpit or chin for the first couple of months.

What other types of baby thermometers are useful?

When following the NHS and Lullaby Trust recommendations on room temperatures for safe sleeping, it’s useful to be able to check the ambient temperature in the bedroom or nursery.

For reference, the Lullaby Trust claims a room temperature of between 16˚C and 20°C is comfortable for a baby, meaning you only need to wrap them in light bedding or an age-appropriate sleeping bag. If your baby is too cold, they may wake up throughout the night, while the chance of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is higher in babies who are too hot. The latter may sound terrifying, but it could simply be that you have a warm house and no matter what you do, you can't get the smiley face to appear. In this instance, it's about using common sense when dressing your baby for the night and taking necessary precautions to ensure your baby is as comfortable as possible.

One of the handiest ways to do this is with a combined thermometer and nightlight, which will cheer up the nursery with a soft glow and is easy to read at night. Some of the best baby monitors will also tell you your baby's room temperature. Be aware that placing the nightlight/thermometer or the monitor near a window or radiator can skew the readings. It's best to put the thermometer as close to the baby's cot as possible to get the most accurate reading.

To help prevent scalds in the bath, a simple bath thermometer is also useful – these waterproof gadgets either stick to the side of the bath or float in it like a toy, are more accurate than your elbow and are easy to read through splashes and bubbles.

The best baby thermometers to buy

1. Braun Thermoscan 7 (IRT6520): The best baby thermometer

Price: £36 | Buy now from Amazon

Braun’s baby thermometers are endorsed by GPs across Europe and the ThermoScan 7 is one of the most popular among new parents because it ticks a lot of boxes. It offers three age settings – for 0-3 months, 3-36 months and 36 months plus – because four-year-olds and newborns have different normal temperature ranges. This also makes it suitable for use on adults.

The ThermoScan 7 gives a reading in one second, which is perfect if you have a wriggly toddler, and the thermometer will warn you if you haven't positioned it properly so you know that you're always getting an accurate result. This thermometer will also store the last nine readings, which is really useful when trying to establish if your little one is getting better or worse, or if you need to relay any readings to a doctor. 

Elsewhere, the ThermoScan comes with a pre-warming tip and spare tip covers. Once you've used up the spare covers, you can easily pick up a pack of 40 replacements on Amazon for £9. In terms of battery life, we've had this thermometer for around a year and have not yet had to replace the two AA batteries that it came with.

Key specs – Batteries: 2 x AA (included); Age settings: 3; Memory: 9 previous readings; Fahrenheit and Celsius: Both; Warranty: 2 years

2. Braun No Touch and Touch Thermometer with Age Precision: The best thermometer for all ages

Price: £66 | Buy now from Argos

Despite its slightly clunky name, the Braun No Touch and Touch Thermometer with Age Precision is quick and easy to use. It uses Braun's patented Age Precision technology that adjusts the fever guidance and warning messages, based on your child's age. This is because research has shown that what could be classed as a fever in a newborn baby could actually be a normal temperature in a four-year-old child.

In Touch mode, you can put the thermometer on the forehead between the eyebrows to take an accurate reading, or it can be held in front of the forehead, 2cm away, in No Touch mode. There’s also a No-Sound mode to take your child's temperature as they sleep. You can even use this thermometer to measure baby food, drinks and bathwater.

Buy now from Argos

3. Tommee Tippee Digital Ear Thermometer: The best in-ear baby thermometer

Price: £34 | Buy now from Argos

Tommee Tippee's Digital Ear Thermometer is the easiest in-ear baby thermometer we've used and comes with a decent range of features. Firstly, it's suitable for newborns – thanks to its tiny tip – up to adults. It takes just a second to give an accurate reading and stores the previous nine readings to make it easy to track if your little one's fever is ramping up or calming down. The reading is given on an LCD display and the thermometer will sound an alarm if a fever is detected.

It doesn't have the age features of the Braun models, despite its similar price, which is why it's slightly further down our list, but this does make it less fiddly to get to grips with so it depends on what you want from a thermometer. Included in the box are eight replacement hygiene covers or you can buy extra replacements separately.

Buy now from Argos

4. Braun Age Precision Stick Digital Thermometer: The best armpit thermometer

Price: £17 | Buy now from Superdrug

If you want an armpit thermometer, this one’s good value for a surprisingly high-tech product. It’s quick and easy to use: just pop it under the arm and wait for the beep to signal the thermometer has established an accurate reading. The Age Precision Stick allows you to set the age bracket of your child, so you can quickly determine whether your baby's temperature is anything to be worried about.

There are cheaper armpit thermometers out there but they take a while to give a reading – up to a minute – whereas this one from Braun does so in seconds. It also remembers previous readings, which is rare on such simple, armpit thermometers, and this helps you see, at a glance, if things are improving. The flexible tip and coloured backlit display make this thermometer super-easy to use, and it’s suitable for all the family.

Key specs – Batteries: 1 x 3V (included); Age settings: 3; Memory: 1 previous reading; Fahrenheit and Celsius: Both; Warranty: 2 years

Buy now from Superdrug

5. Gro Egg Room Thermometer: The best baby thermometer for taking a room temperature

Price: £27 | Buy now from Amazon

The Gro-Egg is a nicely designed thermometer that shows the room temperature reading at a glance (even in the middle of the night). The friendly egg-shaped lamp glows yellow when the room is within a comfortable sleeping range for baby, and orange if it’s a little on the warm side. If the egg glows a fierce volcanic red, you’ll know it’s time to open a few windows and put baby to sleep without the duvet on. A blue egg, on the other hand, means it’s best to tuck up nice and warm and both the red and blue settings show a sad face, which some parents may find a little judgmental (or is that just me?).

There are four adjustable brightness settings on the backlit display so the egg won’t stop either you or baby from sleeping at night, and the egg plugs into the mains so there are no batteries to worry about. You can even top off your egg with a cute monkey, penguin or owl-shaped hat to make a nighttime friend for your little one. It's simple, elegant, practical and affordable.

Key specs – Batteries: Mains only; Age settings: N/A; Memory: N/A; Celsius and Fahrenheit: Both; Warranty: 1 year

6. Mothermed Baby Bath Thermometer: The best bath baby thermometer

Price: £11 | Buy now from Amazon

This simple little floating baby thermometer doesn’t just tell you the temperature – it’s fun to play with too. The baby thermometer is activated by shaking or simply placing it in the water, and it flashes a red LED warning light if it’s too hot (over 38ºC). The word “cold” will also display on the screen if your bath is on the chilly side. The waterproof, submersible thermometer, which has a fun fish design to inspire your junior marine biologist, can also be used outside the tub as a room thermometer.

Key specs – Batteries: 1 x CR2 (included); Age settings: N/A; Memory: N/A; Celsius and Fahrenheit: Both; Warranty: 1 year

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